Lockdown pubs in focus as Mitchells & Butlers updates on Thursday

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Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) is on the slate for Thursday though amidst the move back into national lockdown timing leaves a lot to be desired.


On the face of it, the challenges and troubles are obvious – like almost all the leisure sector it temporarily can’t function.


Silverlinings tend to be subjective, but, valuations perhaps present one to those that choose to search them.


Broadly speaking at least, stockbroker Liberum in a recent note highlighted that the continuing volatility may favour brave speculators.


Commenting on the leisure sector, Liberum analyst Anna Barnfather said: “Any short-term volatility in confidence that may be caused by the recent return to a full national lockdown, should strengthen the buying opportunity.


“Further progress in a vaccine rollout across the UK and confidence in a removal of trading restrictions, most likely in Q2 2021, should help propel confidence, and therefore share prices.


“We also expect that the Brexit trade deal will boost consumer and investor confidence in the UK leisure space, with investors shifting towards small and midcap (SMID) and UK domestic stocks in the medium term.”


Now, Mitchells & Butlers name is absent from Liberum’s list of ‘top picks’ – with Marston’s and City Pub Group favoured among the pubcos.


After starting the week down 10%, the Mitchells & Butlers share price rebounded somewhat (about 1.9% on Wednesday) to change hands at 242.5p ahead of Thursday’s quarterly update.


Thursday January 7:


Trading update: Mitchells & Butlers (LON:MAB)


FTSE 100 ex-dividends to knock 0.71 points off the index: AVEVA Group PLC (LON:AVV), Experian PLC (LON:EXPN), British Land Company PLC (LON:BLND)


Economic data: UK construction PMI, US trade balance, US jobless claims

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